As reported by WIS, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating the arrests of Jonathan McCoy and Allen Keith McAlister, Jr. which occurred on Harden Street in the Five Points area on October 17, 2009.
Officer Tandy Carter asked SLED to determine whether officers James Heywood, Amanda Long, and John Passmore engaged in police misconduct when they arrested McCoy and McAllister last October.
If SLED decides there is evidence of police misconduct, it will forward its findings to the 5th Circuit solicitor’s office or to federal prosecutors for further action
The investigation came after footage from a Sharky’s surveillance video surfaced.
The images on the surveillance video are pretty clear. The officers, however, wrote in a report that:
- They were responding to a report of a disturbance placed by a bartender at the Red Hot Tomato; when they arrived they found McAlister more than 70 yards away from the bar.
- McAlister was advised that he needed to leave and he was given several chances to leave,
- McAlister walked back to the bar twice before officers wrestled him to the ground and arrested him, and
- McAlister snatched his arms away and started pushing the officers away.
With regard to McCoy the report further notes that McCoy:
- grabbed an officer by the arm,
- got in the officer’s face, and he
- resisted arrest.
Attorneys for McCoy and McAlister claim the video directly contradicts statements made by the officers following the arrests.
Prosecutor Constance Holloway is fighting to keep the incident report out of the evidence and away from the jury’s hands.
Recently, Holloway was ordered by the Court to turn over all personnel files and Internal Affairs investigations related to the three officers. Police dispatch logs and personnel files have been turned over; while there were investigative reports on the officers in question, no internal investigation took place at the department level related to the Five Points incident.
In addition to fighting the criminal charges, McCoy has also filed a Federal lawsuit related to the incident.
We note that everyone involved is innocent until they are proven guilty.
When your rights are at stake, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your freedom and seek justice in the event a false arrest occurs. The criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. include a former United States Attorney, a former public defender, a former Assistant Attorney General and Richland County Assistant Solicitor, as well as a tax lawyer familiar with IRS criminal investigations. The Strom Law Firm aggressively defends individuals on all criminal charges in all State and Federal Courts in South Carolina as well as the Federal Courts in Georgia. Our lawyers proudly edit the Columbia, South Carolina Injury Board as well as several other blogs as a pro bono effort to provide the public valuable information. Our lawyers are licensed in: South Carolina, New York, and Georgia